MADURAI: The Madras high court has dismissed a batch of pleas which complained of irregularities in the allotment of industrial plots in Sidco industrial estate at Kappalur in Madurai district after the state government submitted in detail that there were no irregularities.
The petitioners complained that there was no transparency in the process of allotment of plots. They also alleged that the interview process for allotment of plots went on after the election commission’s model code of conduct came into effect on February 26.
The government submitted that Sidco has proposed to allot 43 plots for which 267 applications were received. Interviews for the applicants were conducted on February 19, 22 and 26. The interview process was concluded by 2.30pm on February 26 and the screening committee selected 111 applicants as eligible for allotment of plots.
Since there were only 43 plots, a lot system was conducted in the presence of the members of the screening committee and allotment orders were dispatched to them. The entire process was completed before 4.30pm on February 26 when the model code of conduct came into effect. Hence, the government submitted that it is wrong to say that the interview was conducted even after the announcement.
The government also submitted that Sidco’s proposal to conduct it in the presence of shortlisted candidates and by videographing the same has been approved. Sidco will follow this new procedure in all the future allotments.
Justice J Nisha Banu took note of the government’s submissions and observed that since the lot system has been conducted in the presence of the screening committee consisting of officials from various departments, the question of favouritism or secretive selection does not arise. Hence, the judge dismissed the petitions, by observing that the allotment orders need not be interfered with.